Closing out the 2020-21 academic year


This week, the CDC made an exciting announcement — fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting – except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

They also updated their “choosing safer activities” risk assessment chart, which shows the risk levels for unvaccinated and vaccinated people both wearing masks and not wearing masks, in a variety of settings. As you can see, fully vaccinated people are considered safe in every setting:

We are by no means completely out of this pandemic; but we are clearly starting to return to some level of normalcy. We must continue to keep up with our vaccination process so that more and more of our community is safe from the ravages of this disease.

At Bakersfield College, we are continuing to do our part by providing vaccination clinics. Please see upcoming clinics listed on our Vaccine Clinic webpage, and register on – enter the zip code of 93305 to view the Bakersfield COllege Student Health and Wellness Center availability.

Check out these photos from Friday’s clinic in Lamont – KCCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez has worked with the BC’s Health Clinic to get vaccines out to the communities in Arvin and Lamont.

The BC vaccination team
Dr. Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Trustee Yovani Jimenez

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 15, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

107th Commencement Celebration – Tomorrow night!

I invite everyone once again to celebrate the Class of 2021 with a special commencement tribute tomorrow Sunday, May 16, from 6-7:30 pm. The tribute will air on KGET Channel 17 and will be streamed on KGET’s website and KGET-TV17 Bakersfield Facebook. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the stream on Facebook.

Every graduate who choses to participate will be honored with their photo and name read by BC faculty, staff and administrators. Congratulations to all the BC 2021 Graduates! We look forward to tuning in along with your friends, family and community to celebrate your achievements.

The Twitter post below includes a great video to promote this event:

Closing Week 2021

This week, Bakersfield College celebrated closing week with three days of productions, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Here is outgoing BCSGA President Gian Gayatao. I’ll be sharing the link to view the rest of the videos in my next blog – our team is still working on getting everything prepared and posted.

Spring Virtual Choral Concert

If you joined closing week, you were able to experience the excellent vocal talents of BC’s choirs. Experience the Bakersfield College Choirs spring virtual concert “I lived” based on the song of that title. The concert featuring the BC College Choir, Chamber Singers, Renegade Chorus, Jenn Garrett, conductor, and Patrick Bender, collaborative pianist will premier Monday, May 17, 2021 at 7:00 pm on the BC Choirs’ YouTube Channel.

Check out these photos that Jenn Garrett posted from the production:

In her post, she shared these great words:

“BC Renegade Chorus met last week to film for our concert. It was exciting and they were amazing. We started at Hart Park right by the water and later moved to the BC Indoor Theatre for the second piece. This has been quite a journey and I’m so grateful for the singers patience, enthusiasm, and determination to make music in any way we could over the pandemic. I’m excited for them to watch the fruit of their labors Monday night as we premiere the concert in out BC Choirs YouTube channel. Come see all of her hard work at 7 pm May 17!

I am also reminded of the power of music. We went to film Sebastian Lee on cello at Hart Park and the location we wanted to use for a few minutes was occupied by two couples who had plenty of drinks and food and were distancing in the shallow water. We asked if we could use one portion of the space for a few minutes and were met with great hostility. But as they heard the music their demeanor completely changed and they were intrigued and asked us questions and wanted to watch the concert. Music has a way of bringing people together and I’m so blessed to have it in my life.”

Educators for Peace

On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at 5:00 pm, I invite you to join me at the “Educators for Peace” panel. I will be hosting with Student Success and Equity Program Manager Kara McDonald moderating the discussion with Richard McCrow, Jessica Wojtysiak, Bryan Hirayama, and Jeremy Staat. This is the second panel in the BC Peace Initiative; I highlighted the first panel, “Mothers for Peace,” in last week’s post.

For more information and to register for Zoom, see the BC calendar event Educators for Peace.

First check presentation for Rotary Peace Project

Cheryl Scott and Mindy Wilmot, both Rotarians and part of BC’s Peace Initiative team, were guests at Bakersfield East Rotary Club this week where they were presented with a $1,000 check that will start a Rotary Peace Fund within the BC Foundation.  The fund will be used to place Rotary Peace Poles in BC’s future peace gardens and throughout campus.  As a result of the growing partnership and increased interest in peacebuilding, local Rotary Clubs are also planning to place poles throughout the community as well!

Virtual Express Enrollment Event On May 19th

Bakersfield College Outreach, with support from Financial Aid, Counseling, and more, will host a Virtual Express Enrollment Event on May 19th from 12pm to 8pm to help new and continuing students enroll and get the classes they need.

Register here: or visit the website at

Outreach spreads the good word about BC’s academic programs and student services by reaching out to local high schools, supporting future students, and assisting them through the application and matriculation process.

There are also three more express enrollment events planned for this summer on June 2nd, July 7th, and August 11th from 12pm to 8pm.

BC Jazz Releases “The Quarantine Sessions Volume II”

Students in the Jazz Program directed by Kris Tiner have released a follow up to last year’s “The Quarantine Sessions” album. “The Quarantine Sessions Volume II” features 11 original tunes – over 52 minutes of music – created, performed, recorded, and mixed entirely by students working from home. They used Zoom to collaborate and discuss ideas, cloud storage to share charts and files, cell phones and any home recording technology they could get their hands on to capture sounds and songs that were inspired by these strange and unprecedented times.

Please take a listen and download a copy! All proceeds from sales benefit the Bakersfield College Jazz Program.

EOPS/CARE/NextUp/CalWORKs/AB 540 Recognition Ceremony

The EOPS, CARE, NextUp, CalWORKs, and AB540 student support programs hosted their Annual Recognition Ceremony virtually to honor and acknowledge the achievements of their graduating program participants. Their counselors and advisors presented awards to twenty-seven students on one of the following categories: Outstanding Participant, Highest G.P.A, Outstanding Professionalism, Academic Excellence, and Perseverance. Students were invited to pick up their award during an organized drive through event following the recognition ceremony. Over 234 students graduated from the listed categorical programs this year and our department staff and faculty are very proud of our students. Congratulations to the Class of 2021.

Back to Campus

While our Spring Semester has come to a close, our campus locations are a flurry of action as we continue to come back to work on our physical campuses.

Here’s Kalina Hill sharing a snap of the new Campus Center:

Endee Grijalva shared these snaps from the Arvin Hub:

In the News

Political Science Professor Allen Bolar discusses population change

Recently, it was announced that California would be losing a House seat as the state’s population is shrinking for the first time in history.

Political Science Professor Allen Bolar shared some insight into reasons behind that shift, including housing costs:

Community Voices: Roots of Early College have grown deep in Kern

BC Counselor Jesus Oropeza, who focuses on Dual Enrollment, Early College and STEM Pathways, wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the Early College Program and its successes in Kern County.

“We should all be so proud of these communities for adopting Early College in their own unique way, providing educational pathways, and ensuring there is equity for all students. With our ever-changing world during this pandemic, our institutions have had to rethink our engagement with students to be extra intentional, reaching them where they are and serving them in the most supportive ways.”

Jesus Oropeza

Community Voices: Bakersfield College takes on auto-enrollment

Ashlea Ward, director for Outreach and Early College, shared some insight into the new auto-enroll program at Bakersfield College. This opt-in program allows allows BC staff and administrators to enroll students into their chosen classes automatically.

“All students that opted into the auto-enroll program received a full year of priority registration, as well as auto-enrollment for both semesters during their first year at BC, making it easier for these students to choose the classes they need to graduate on time. Finally, students always have the ability to meet with a counselor after they have been enrolled and adjust their schedule, or go into their student account and adjust their schedules independently, which will always be the case, even beyond the pandemic.”

Spotted on Social Media

Last week I shared Mento Buru’s reimagining of the BC Fight Song. This week, I’d like to share the video they posted on their Instagram page, featuring BC’s own Tim Heasley and the BC Cheer Team:

BCSGA reminded everyone that the Student Pantry is still available:

BC Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman shared this picture of KCCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez, who stopped by the Arvin hub:

The BC Library staff ended the semester with a group Zoom photo:

And check out Dr. Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor of California Community Colleges, sharing some Renegade Pride:


2021 Renegade Football Schedule Released

This week we were all very excited to see that the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) released the fall 2021 football schedule. Our Renegades are planning to return to action in traditional 10-game season this coming fall. To view the schedule on the website, click here. They will open on the road playing at LA Pierce on Sep. 4th, and then have their first home game of the season in Memorial Stadium on Sep. 11th hosting El Camino. This will be the first football game played at Memorial Stadium in what will be almost 22 months! The last Renegade home football game was Nov. 16, 2019 when they played Canyons in the 2019 season finale. We are looking forward to the fall and for football to start once again!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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